04 May 2017

The 2017 ITTF Challenge Zagreb Open officially gets underway on Thursday 4th May and after two days of qualifying action the seeded players are set to take to the tables as the race for silverware begins.

by Simon Daish

Five Hungarian players will feature in the opening round of the Women’s Singles main draw, including three qualifiers.

Leading the way for the country is 15th seed Dora Madarasz, who will face France’s Emmanuelle Lennon for a place in the last 32 while the other seeded Hungarian contestant Szandra Pergel takes on Liu Qi of Hong Kong.

The three Hungarian representatives to achieve qualification to the main event: Bernadett Balint, Krisztina Ambrus and Mercedes Nagyvaradi are set to play out difficult encounters with Nanthana Komwong, Saki Shibata and Rachel Moret respectively.

Top seed Hitomi Sato of Japan will open her account in the Women’s Singles competition with a fixture against Korea Republic’s Park Joohyun at the top of the draw, while the second seeded player Honoka Hashimoto goes up against Olga Vorobeva.

Croatian table tennis fans will be delighted to see Andrej Gacina in action in the Men’s Singles draw, and the 30-year-old will be looking to get his campaign off to a positive start in front of the Zagreb crowd as he prepares to face off against Romania’s Cristian Pletea.

Two more Croatians will also take part in the Round of 64. Seeded 14th, Tomislav Pucar will take on qualifier Pavel Sirucek of the Czech Republic, and the other player from the host nation Vjekoslav Zovko has the challenge of facing the second seed Panagiotis Gionis of Greece.

Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, who is the fifth seed, will have to negotiate a tie against Sweden’s Hampus Nordberg for the chance to reach the Round of 32 while the no.8 seed Liam Pitchford of England has a meeting with Chile’s Felipe Olivares.

Day One will also feature both the Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles competitions, and the day will conclude with quarter-finals action from the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles so there is plenty to look forward to.

Watch the 2017 ITTF Challenge Zagreb Open unfold, follow the action live with itTV

Challenge Series 2017 Zagreb (Croatia) Open Liam Pitchford Hitomi Sato Honoka Hashimoto Jonathan Groth Andrej Gacina Dora Madarasz

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